Why You Should Keep NetworkingPosted: 8th of June 2015 by
When people think of networking they tend to think of it as something they do when they are looking for a job. Asking your friends and family if they know of any openings, or even speaking with colleagues and work acquaintances to see if they could put in a good word to get you a new job, perhaps in a different department. However, you ideally need that network in place by the time you are actively looking for work, which means you need to start building it now. But that is not the only reason to keep networking.
Networking, quite simply, means making useful connections with others. It is what we do naturally with our friends and family when we are introduced to someone new. Except at work, these networks of people can be more strategically planned to make the most of any opportunities.
Business and work in general is all about relationships – so try to foster good ones. If you are well-liked you will tend to have an easier time of things. Whereas if you are not liked in the office, for example, you don’t need to guess too hard who will be most likely to end up having to do the less-enjoyable or boring tasks.
Good networking won’t just stop you becoming the office dogs-body, but can also help progress your career where you are. Meeting people in other departments or further up the ladder will offer you a chance to get a better view of what is going on at your workplace in general. You can get an inside line on promotions, openings, and general work trends – like if the company just landed a lucrative new contract or not.
Networking outside of your company can also be of use when it comes to spotting market trends, getting new ideas, or even seeing how things are with the competition. Of course, this type of external networking can also help if you feel the need to jump ship! It is always easier to make connections when you are calm and collected, rather than waiting until you are desperately looking for a way out of your current job!
Networking can also allow you to meet a mentor. Having someone to show you the ropes and teach you the ins and outs of your industry can be really helpful, especially when you are just starting out in your career.
So, if you have let your networking slip since landing a job, or are yet to really start building connections of your own, now is the time to get to it. Reach out to some of your old contacts and check in to see how they are doing. If you do this now, while you aren’t having to ask them for anything you won’t look as obvious as if you reach out to them all of sudden to ask a favour.
Keep your networking as an ongoing project, not just something to do when you are in need of help. By maintaining strong, healthy relationships you can be sure to stay in the loop, have friends to fall back on when you need, and also keep yourself uppermost in the minds of the people who matter!
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